Fordham Professor Questions Viability of Democracy in the Arab World
Fordham Law Professor Thane Rosenbaum wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal that examined what he called a bleak anniversary for the Arab Spring. Rosembaum documented violence throughout the region and asked whether the revolutionary wave didn’t simply replace old tyrannical regimes of instability with new ones.
While the Arab Spring may have mercifully ended the regimes of longtime secular strongmen, the revolution hasn’t brought about the core features of a democratic society: religious tolerance and pluralism, the rule of law, freedom of press and expression, respect for human rights, and equality for women, minorities and gays.
Rosenbaum questioned the practicality of democracy in the Arab world, pointing out that the elections that occurred as a result of the Arab Spring did not yield the results that some Westerners hoped for.
The courageous kids tweeting live from Tahrir Square two years ago weren’t elected to anything, even though many Westerners dreamed that they, and not Islamists, were representative of Egypt’s larger democratic aspirations. It may be that this part of the world is simply resistant to transformative democratic change. Democracy can be a medication that simply won’t take.